Vegas: “From This Day Forward” Review
By Carol Tacker: Wednesday January 16
It’s a good thing Vegas didn’t save this episode for Valentine’s Day, because love gets kicked to the curb – starting with a scene in which Deputy Jack Lamb (Jason O’ Mara) is hiding under the bed of cool blonde Mia Rizzo (Sarah Jones) because her father has suddenly barged into the room and turned on the television broadcasting John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural speech. Rizzo (Michael Wiseman) makes a remark about how the mob helped put JFK in office and Mia manages to get him out of her room by agreeing to meet him somewhere else for lunch. Her hot and heavy affair with Deputy Jack would not be well received by her cop-hating father.
Meanwhile, back to its old ways of introducing not one but two crimes of the week that have nothing to do with the overarching plot, Sheriff Lamb (Dennis Quaid) arrives at work to discover his former love, Barbara Kent (Frances O’Connor) is waiting in his office. Barbara was his son Dixon’s French teacher when he was in the ninth grade. Both the Sheriff’s son and his brother are not happy to see her again since she left the Sheriff for another man. We quickly learn that her motive in choosing Rick Kent (Robert Gant) over the Sheriff was because Kent promised to show her the world, something the Sheriff could never afford to do. Much later in the episode she clarifies that she really left because he wouldn’t leave the ranch and all the memories of his late wife that resided there with him, but by then the viewer is beyond caring about a relationship that is going nowhere.
Barbara is in his office, she says, because her husband was attacked and robbed the night before while they were walking on Fremont Street. She says the thugs hit him and got away with five thousand dollars. Her husband didn’t want to report it, but she did. Or did she just want to see her old flame? She does identify the thugs from mug shots while she and the sheriff bat eyes at each other and flirt. Meanwhile, Dixon Lamb (Taylor Handley) is flirting with Yvonne (Aimee Garcia) the hot Hispanic clerk in the Sherriff’s office after she asked him to accompany her to a family wedding but “not as a date.” They are interrupted by the report of a body found at an old abandoned ranch. Unrelated crime number two is underway.
Continuing with her investigation into the death of Diana Desmond, determined to prove Desmond’s death was at the hands of Rizzo and was not a drug overdose as reported, Assistant District Attorney Katherine O’ Connell (Carrie-Anne Moss) is meeting secretly with Laura Savino (Vinessa Shaw), wife of Vincent Savino (Michael Chiklis), manager of the Savoy. Laura is providing information to put Rizzo, Vincent’s boss, away because she feels this is the only way to protect her family.
When Vincent is tipped by the corrupt D. A., Katherine’s boss, that someone in his organization is providing this information and he can’t find out who it is, Vincent vows to handle it himself. He fears Rizzo will blame him for the leak if he doesn’t get rid of the rat. He starts his own investigation, not knowing where it will end.
Too much time is spent unraveling why a woman who was staying at a “divorce ranch” (where women used to go and wait out the short time required for claiming Nevada residency which would enable them to a “quickie” divorce), would be shot dead at an abandoned ranch. Ultimately we discover she had fallen in love with a cowboy at the divorce ranch and was killed by the woman who owned the spread when she found out the two of them were getting married. She too loved the cowboy and couldn’t bear the thought of his marrying this woman who had already divorced two men while staying at her ranch in the past. Not sure what this adds to the overall theme of Vegas unless they hope to remind viewers of that little quirk in American divorce law that used to exist.
Meanwhile, Mia invites both Deputy Jack and her father to lunch and tells her father she is dating Jack and he needs to get over it. Jack says he is in love with Mia and they need to find a way to work through their trust issues. Rizzo stalks away and tells Savino to fire Mia. That’s how he plans to deal with it, and Savino has no choice. But when she’s fired, Mia says she will get a job elsewhere in Vegas, she is not leaving town and not leaving Jack. Poor love, kicked again.
Resolving the first unrelated crime, the robbery of the husband of the Sheriff’s former love, Ralph Lamb discovers the muggers were pawn brokers who gave Rick Kent five thousand dollars for what they believed was a diamond bracelet, but in fact it was paste. The Sheriff confronts Kent at his hotel and is told Kent made some bad investments and is out of money. He hoped the five grand would buy him a few more weeks with his wife. Lamb gives him the money he recovered from the muggers and leaves. Another love story gone wrong and ultimately this marriage is over since Barbara leaves town alone.
But the relationship that took the most shrapnel this week is the marriage of Laura and Vincent Savino. He finds out his wife is the rat by discovering his secretary made hair appointments for Laura at each time the affidavit shows a meeting with the informer and the assistant district attorney took place. Devastated, Vincent confronts his wife who explains she was doing it to protect her family and when Vincent explains they are both as good as dead for what she did, she says they could disappear into another life in another place to avoid the mob. He lets her know how that would never work. He then keeps his wife’s meeting with the Assistant District Attorney and tells her his wife will not be cooperating. He threatens Katherine with harm if she tries to do more, and she pulls a gun on him and says people like her can kill people like him anytime they want and nothing will happen to them for it.
That fact stays with Vincent as he confronts Rizzo and tells him Mia is the rat. He says Deputy Lamb has turned her head. Rizzo vows to get the deputy. Vincent explains to his associate that if the deputy is warned about Rizzo, the problem of having Rizzo around will be taken care of. His plan is for Lamb to kill Rizzo in self-defense. Thus he is rid of Rizzo, and not even Chicago would question death by law enforcement.
Unfortunately when he calls the Deputy, who is once again in bed with Mia, the deputy takes the phone off the hook. The sad coda to the episode occurs when Vincent hands off his wife to another driver who will get her back to Chicago. He says when he comes there to visit his daughters, she should stay with her mother. Their relationship is over.
Just when you think love cannot conquer anything, we get a glimpse of Dixon arriving at the wedding, very dapper and wearing a suit and tie, as he sits beside Yvonne and they share a contented smile. Lost love, dead love, threatened love, ending love and a little hope for new love was all over the episode, but the disconnected crimes didn’t add anything to the progress of the main characters. Overall the effort wasn’t entirely successful. There is some hangover tension in whether Mia and Jack will see their own love meet a tragic end at the hand of her father, thanks to Savino’s plotting. With that hook, there’s at least one reason to watch next week.